Despite twice conceding within the first 5 minutes of a half (3rd minute, 49th minute), Newcastle United exhibited some of the resilience that made the 2011-12 season such a successful one. Southampton followed their near post goal in the third minute (one for which someone commented: "I feel like someone should have done better, I just don't know who" as Rob Elliot got beaten near-post but Steven Taylor was flat-footed with the ball loose in the box...) with a decent spell of pressure, but Newcastle took a fairly firm grip on the first half by the 15 minute mark. It would be just over another 15 minutes before the control Newcastle had on the match would pay off when Yoan Gouffran danced into the Southampton and put a shot/cross off of Artur Boruc's backside which then found its way to Moussa Sissoko's boot. Sissoko made no mistake and put in Newcastle's first on the day and his third in two home Premier League matches.
Predictably, on the back of a rather difficult chance off of a shot or pass from Gouffran (there is some dispute as to which it was), the twitterz started blazing with "RAWR IS WHY ONLY CISSE WE HAVE NO COMPETITION HE SUCKZZZ" type things, and finally, Papiss Cissé produced a moment of brilliance like we've come to expect from him. Truly one to silence the critics for today... and described by many of the journos at St. James' Park as "One of the best ever scored at St. James' Park". There have been a LOT of excellent goals scored at the stadium over 120+ years, but it's probably not much hyperbole to say that this was one of the greatest. That beauty combined with the fine overall play in the final half hour of the first half would have done wonders to calm the nerves of many Toon fans... but this is Newcastle United and this is 2012-13.
Within 5 minutes of the restart, Southampton were level at 2, this time with a spell of excellent attacking play. Some nice passing found Adam Lambert in the Newcastle box and there was no mistake from Lambert as he finished clinically. On the heels of that, you could hear the (by all accounts very good) Southampton support tuning up a rousing rendition of "He scores when he wants". A couple of minutes later, Adam Lambert must not have wanted to score as he flashed an open header just inches wide of Rob Elliot's back post... truly it was a massive let-off for Newcastle as they should have been down a goal at that point.
The miss was perhaps what Newcastle United needed to wake them back up, and it would be the 67th minute when it might have felt a little like it was going to be Newcastle's day as Daniel Fox was adjudged to have handled the ball in the Southampton box. Yohan Cabaye would take the ensuing penalty, striding confidently to the spot and burying it past Boruc for what would ultimately prove to be the winner. The final scoreline would be achieved after
Yoan Gouffran Davide Santon produced another moment of skill in the Southampton box and got a nice centering pass off which a Southampton defender attempted to clear. The ball only went so far as his defensive mate Jos Hooiveld, however, and ricocheted into the Southampton net to ensure that Newcastle United would find themselves in 14th place, 6 clear of the drop zone (and, as was pointed out, above the Makems).
- Special note: Fabricio Coloccini made way for Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa late in the first half after hurting his back on a rather spectacular juggled/bicycled clearance when he was trapped in the corner. Here's hoping Captain Colo is alright.